Friday, July 30, 2010

by Nick Beres, News Channel 5, 7/29/10

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. -- The grandson of a Muslim man buried at the site of a proposed new Islamic Center in Rutherford County said the family did not break any law.

"Me and my uncle and dad buried by grandpa," said Naim Abulaban.

The unmarked grave on the property is at the center of a growing controversy.

Critics of plans for the new Islamic Center have requested that the sheriff investigate whether the burial was legal.

"There seems to be too much secrecy surrounding this burial," said Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a concerned citizen.

But Abulaban says the family obtained the proper permit to bury his grandfather. The Murfreesboro police -- as its their policy on all funerals -- even provided an escort the day of the burial.

Abulaban said it's unfortunate his deceased grandfather is now in the middle of the controversy over the proposed new Islamic Center. He said critics are using the grave issue to try to delay the project. (More)


Group Asked For Investigation Into Burial
Larry Flowers, WSMV, 7/29/10

Naim Abulaban is the namesake of his grandfather, the man he said is buried at the site of the proposed Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. He said he wants to squash the rumors once and for all concerning his grandfather's burial.

"That bothers me a lot that our community is hearing these false statements," Abulaban said. "I'm sure that some people are believing what's being said is true." ...

This week, a group of concerned citizens delivered a letter to Rutherford County Sheriff Truman Jones asking for an investigation into the burial and the way the conditional use permit was granted, allowing the body to be buried at the site.

"We just want to make sure everything is above board; that's all," said Laurie Cardoza-Moore. "There needs to be full disclosure, and there doesn't seem to be."

Cardoza-Moore is the spokeswoman for the group. She said their concerns are in no way about Muslim religion.

"This is not about religion; it never has been," she said. "It is about this community's concern about advancing the political agenda of radical Islam in Tennessee." (More)


DuPage mulls tweaking permit process for religious groups
Susan Frick Carlman, Sun-Times, 7/30/10

A measure that could streamline the process of establishing places of worship and other forms of assembly in unincorporated DuPage County is heading to the zoning panel that recently has taken up two zoning proposals from Islamic groups. ...

The matter has come up before. The ZBA earlier this month held a public hearing on a permit request from the Islamic Center of the Western Suburbs, which plans to host prayer five times daily in a onetime home it owns on Army Trail Road near West Chicago. The zoning group has yet to make a recommendation on the request.

More locally, the Irshad Learning Center attempted last year to secure a conditional use permit to open a gathering place and part-time school in a former home the group owns on a 3-acre parcel on 75th Street just east of Naper Boulevard. The Development Committee supported the request, but the ZBA heeded the concerns of neighbors who anticipated the center would diminish the quality of life in the surrounding residential area and recommended against approval.

After the County Board denied the permit in January, the Irshad board handed the matter over to the Chicago office of the Council on American Islamic Relations, which has filed suit against the zoning officials and County Board members who voted against the application. (More)


Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 7/30/10

As you have probably heard, the Anti-Defamation League came out against the Ground Zero mosque today. I wanted to highlight this extraordinary bit from their statement:

Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain --unnecessarily -- and that is not right.

That's just amazing. This is basically a concession that some of the opposition to the mosque is grounded in bigotry, and that those arguing that the mosque builders harbor ill intent are misguided. Yet ADL is opposing the construction of the mosque anyway, on the grounds that it will cause 9/11 victims unnecessary "pain." (More)


Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones, 7/30/10

The Six Flags amusement park chain has had its share of bad press lately, what with kids getting decapitated or having their feet chopped off on roller coaster rides, filing for bankruptcy and other Dan Snyder-related disasters.

But the latest flap is more political. Tea partiers and other anti-Islam activists are freaking out about a Muslim Family Day planned for several Six Flags parks around the country on Sept. 12, the day after the World Trade Center attacks.

The event, sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), offers Muslim families a chance to hang at the amusement park and be catered to by modestly dressed employees and halal food vendors.

While Six Flags has been holding these events since 2000 for the 42-year-old Muslim nonprofit, apparently this year, it's getting more attention, both because it falls on the weekend of Sept. 11 and also because of the ongoing controversy about the Muslim center planned a few blocks away from Ground Zero in New York. (More)


Times Union, 7/30/2010

Carl Paladino, the Buffalo developer hoping to win a Republican gubernatorial primary, is doubling down his opposition to a mosque in Lower Manhattan, saying it's an "affront to the American people" and "it's about the Islamists wanting to illustrate that they have conquered America by taking down the World Trade Center."

In an interview last night with NY1 (partially obscured by Paladino's statement that he will not run for governor on just a third-party line) and speaking this morning with Susan Arbetter on The Capitol Pressroom, Paladino equated those building or using the proposed Cordoba Mosque with Muslim terrorists who attacked the United States on September 11 and are waging war on American troops abroad.

"The governor doesn't really have a clue what this issue is about," Paladino told Arbetter. "It's not about religion, it's not about the First Amendment. It's about ideology. It's about the Islamists wanting to illustrate that they have conquered America by taking down the World Trade Center. It's a claim of triumph."

"I will fight and use any means. Right now, the means that I'm suggesting is to do an eminent domain easement over the entire area," he continued. "I will protect the American people from such an arrogant intrusion.". . .

Q: We're off the topic, here, of the mosque. I want to be clear -- your opposition to the mosque is bigger than an issue of sensitivity.

A: It absolutely is.

Q: You sound like you're opposed to, you know, sort of the growth of an Islamic or Muslim practice of religion in Lower Manhattan.

A: Not the practice of religion. The growth of a Muslim, Islamic idea of conquering the world. Okay. They have said it. They have said the world will eventually come under their rule rule. And this was a part of it. The attack on the World Trade Center was a part of it. This is no different than putting up a symbol to Hirohito next to Hickam Field in Pearl Harbor.

Q: Do you think that is a positive message to express to young New Yorkers, especially young New Yorkers?

A: Absolutely.

Q: That we should be looking over our shoulders thinking that Muslims are trying to take over.

A: We better start.

Q: You want to teach that to our children?

A: Yes, because that's the real world out there, and that's what our troops are fighting for and dying for in those two wars. (More)



For Immediate Release: July 29, 2010
Contact: Sarah Kropp, 202-789-1011

The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) encourages increased understanding and reconciliation between those of different faiths and backgrounds, and it laments efforts that work against a just and peaceful society. The plans recently announced by a Florida group to burn copies of the Qu'ran on September 11 show disrespect for our Muslim neighbors and would exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims throughout the world. The NAE urges the cancellation of the burning.

NAE President Leith Anderson said, "It sounds like the proposed Qu'ran burning is rooted in revenge. Yet the Bible says that Christians should 'make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else' (1 Thessalonians 5:15)."

In 1996 the NAE addressed religious persecution saying that "If people are to fulfill the obligations of conscience, history teaches the urgent need to foster respect and protection for the right of all persons to practice their faith." [1] In the same resolution, the NAE pledged to "address religious persecution carried out by our Christian brothers and sisters whenever this occurs around the world."

The NAE calls on its members to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with our neighbors of other faiths. God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect. The proposed burning of Qu'rans would be profoundly offensive to Muslims worldwide, just as Christians would be insulted by the burning of Bibles. Such an act would escalate tensions between members of the two faiths in the United States and around the world.

"We have to recognize that fighting fire with fire only builds a bigger fire," said Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, in Orlando, Fla., and member of the NAE Board of Directors. "Love is the water that will eventually quench the destruction."

Anderson said, "The most powerful statement by the organizers of the planned September 11th bonfire would be to call it off in the name and love of Jesus Christ."

[1] National Association of Evangelicals, Worldwide Religious Persecution 1996. See


Nina Bhattacharya, Think Progress, 7/29/10

In May, the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) and the Cordoba Initiative proposed plans to build a community center two blocks away from Ground Zero in New York City that would include "a mosque, performance art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces." Since then, radical conservatives across the country have expressed open hostility to the construction of Muslim places of worship. Speaking about the Muslim center in New York City, right-wing radio host Michael Berry stated, "If you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up."

Self-described "anti-jihadist" and conservative blogger Pamela Geller -- the executive director of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) -- has joined the chorus of right-wing paranoia. Earlier this month on MSNBC, Geller suggested the Islamic center is a "triumphal mosque" on "conquered lands." Now her organization has recently launched a series of bus ads reading, "Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get answers!" in major cities, including San Francisco, Miami, and New York:, the website promoted on Geller's ads, contends that Muslim Americans who "long to be free" of their religion are in danger of being killed, and offers protection, including "safe houses," for those who want out. Muslim rights groups and religious leaders say there is no penalty for leaving Islam and that the Koran condemns killing as a sin.

While Geller claims that the bus campaign's goal is "to help ex-Muslims who are in trouble," several religious rights organizations have criticized Geller for inciting fear about a religion that is already misunderstood. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights organization that has voiced concerns over several of these bus ads, especially because it seems to imply the false claim that Muslims who choose to leave Islam are in danger. (More)



Watch the video.

Tampa, FL - While people in New York, LA and Phoenix marched in protest of Arizona's immigration law, immigrant rights groups came together in Tampa as a united force under the Florida Immigration Coalition. ...

It is not just Latino immigrants who are against the law. Ramzy Kilic of Tampa heads CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We already have issues related to the no-fly list and and other federal agencies where our community is being treated with racial profiling."

Kilic says this law will make it even worse, and by looking at the turnout of Thursday's protests, immigrants around the country agree.

It is important to point out that all of these groups believe immigration reform is necessary but not by the way of SB 1070. (More)


Sheila McLaughlin, Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/29/10

HAMILTON - Activists for immigrants lashed out at Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones and state Rep. Courtney Combs on Thursday, saying the duo's push to get an anti-immigration law passed in Ohio fuels hatred and crimes against Hispanics.

Officials with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Ohio said "it is not a coincidence" that five Hispanic men were robbed and beaten – one of them fatally – in Hamilton, Fairfield and Cincinnati's Lower Price Hill in the last three weeks as Arizona's anti-immigration law was due to take effect.

Key parts of the law have since been blocked by a federal judge.

At the same time, Jones, who has become a national figure in his support of shutting down the Mexican border and for supporting the Arizona law, has made rounds at local and national talk shows to discuss the issue.

Combs said Thursday that he hopes in the next two weeks to introduce a bill in Ohio that is similar to Arizona's law that gives police powers to ask for identification and immigration status and to detain a person for deportation by federal immigration agents.

LULAC officials, joined by the Council on American Islamic Relations in Cincinnati, called a press conference in Hamilton – home to the area's largest Hispanic community, the county seat, and Jones and Combs – to make their point. (More)


Event to promote political awareness, careers in public relations, media, law

(SEATTLE WA, JULY 29, 2010) – Beginning on August 1, the Washington State chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) will hold its Muslim Youth Leadership Program in Seattle.

WHEN: Sunday, August 1, 2010 to Wednesday, August 4, 2010
WHERE: Sunday: Conference room of Stokes Lawrence, P.S. Monday-Wednesday: Various sites in Seattle area
CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: On Sunday August 1 all students will be on one location (see above) and available for photographs by media. Full program schedule for all four days and more photo opportunities are available upon request.

The first day of the conference will feature one day of workshops on systems mapping, community organizing and advocacy, public speaking and media activism. During the next three day conference attendees will participate in a series of meetings with executives in the fields of media, law, public relations, philanthropy, and other fields in which American Muslims are underrepresented.

"The purpose of this career exploration and leadership program is to encourage Muslim youth to enter fields in which they will have opportunities and the skills to shape public opinion and public policy in a course of their work," said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. "It will motivate them not only to become politically and civically engaged, but also to help them pursue professions that will positively impact the broader society."

Asim Ali, a college student and a One World 2011 participant, was accepted into this summer's MYLP and looks forward to participating.

"My experiences with global leaders have inspired me to become a catalyst for social change and to help others realize their goal," said Ali. "I hope MYLP will open gates of opportunities for American Muslim youth."

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 1-202-744-7726,; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171,


An 18-Month Review
ACLU, 7/22/10

In the eighteen months since the issuance of those executive orders, the administration's record on issues related to civil liberties and national security has been, at best, mixed. Indeed, on a range of issues including accountability for torture, detention of terrorism suspects, and use of lethal force against civilians, there is a very real danger that the Obama administration will enshrine permanently within the law policies and practices that were widely considered extreme and unlawful during the Bush administration. There is a real danger, in other words, that the Obama administration will preside over the creation of a "new normal."

Download the report here.

Muslim civil rights group says Anti-Defamation League siding with bigots

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/30/10) -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy group today called on the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to retract its statement against the construction of an Islamic community center in New York City.

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The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the ADL acknowledged that Muslims have the right to build the center, that the planned 13-story building is designed to send a "positive message about Islam" and that "bigotry" has been expressed by opponents, but that "ultimately this is not a question of rights."
A number of commentators have slammed the ADL for apparently caving in to a vocal smear campaign waged against the center by anti-Muslim bigots.

Paul Krugman:
Bad for the Jews

"It is shocking that a group claiming to seek 'justice and fair treatment for all' would side with those engaged in one of the most egregious Islamophobic smear campaigns in recent memory," said CAIRNational Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We ask the ADL to reconsider and retract this ill-considered and divisive statement. With its shameful statement, the ADL is exploiting and fueling the rising level of anti-Islam sentiment in our society."

Awad urged ADL members to contact the Jewish group's leaders to express their opposition to the statement against the Islamic community center.
He added that officials of a Texas mosque targeted by arson and hate graffiti say the attacks may be linked to the New York City mosque controversy. Awad also noted opposition to the construction or expansion of mosques nationwide and a planned "Burn the Koran Day" in Florida.

Today, Tea Party supporters are holding a hate rally outside a mosque in California. A proposal to build a new mosque in the area allegedly resulted in a phone threat targeting the city council.
The anonymous message left at the Valley News suggested that a reporter "tell the City Council to back off on this (mosque proposal) as much as possible." The caller said there could be "some major problems if they keep pursuing this mosque in Temecula."

Earlier this week, CAIR condemned hate vandalism of a synagogue in Olney, Md., and expressed solidarity with the congregants.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


By Kelly Lynch, CNN, 07/28/10

A 29-year-old U.S. citizen and Army veteran sits in a bare apartment in a poor part of the Colombian capital, Bogota. He wants to come home, but he can't. He thinks it's because he's on the federal government's "no-fly list."

Raymond Earl Knaeble is one of an unknown number of Americans stranded overseas. They can't fly home, but no one will tell them why . . .

One man who was caught up in the same dilemma but eventually was allowed to return home is Yahye Wehelie, who lives in Virginia. He had been studying Arabic in Yemen with his brother. On the way home he was prevented from boarding a plane in Cairo. He was stuck in the Egyptian capital for six weeks, with little money.

Wehelie was finally permitted to leave Egypt on a waiver and temporary passport.

While in Cairo, Wehelie was "hanging out in a cheap hotel watching TV and periodically going to fast food restaurants in the area," said Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR helped Wehelie to return home.

According to Hooper, Wehelie's permanent passport was revoked and can only be regained if he repays a loan to the U.S. Embassy that helped cover his food and hotel costs. The State Department said the U.S. Embassy in Cairo offers assistance to anyone who asks but would not disclose details about the reported loan. Despite his experiences, Wehelie supports the "no-fly list." (More)


By Toni McAllister, Southwest Riverside News Network, 07/28/10

A rally has been planned for July 30 in front of the center, although there are questions about who is organizing the gathering and whether it will happen. While no group has claimed responsibility for the rally's organization, local Tea Party Patriots have called on the local community to join the protest.

"An Islamic Mosque is planned to be built in Temecula. We are holding a Singing – Praying – Patriotic rally on Friday on the side of road on Rio Nedo in Temecula. Bring your Bibles, flags, signs, dogs and singing voice on Friday to let everyone know we are a Christain (sic) community and will not tolerate Sharia law and radical behavior," the Tea Party Patriots website states. (More)


By Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center, 07/29/10

The current wave of anti-mosque protests around the country represents a new threat to the religious freedom of Muslims in America – a threat directed not at terrorists who act in the name of Islam, but at all Muslims and Islam itself.

Incidents of discrimination and bias aimed at Muslim Americans have been rising since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But anti-Muslim rhetoric has taken an ominous turn in recent months as a growing number of political and community leaders – some with tea-party affiliations – have begun warning of a "Muslim takeover" of America.

For anyone with even passing familiarity with Muslims and Muslim institutions in the United States, the notion that Islam in America is the source of a conspiracy to subvert the Constitution is a ridiculous and paranoid fantasy. Mosques have long dotted our landscape – and Muslim Americans have been loyal and engaged citizens in the U.S. for generations.

But this history doesn't stop speakers at rallies and meetings from New York to California from sounding the alarm, telling angry protesters that mosques are a danger to America because – and this is the new line of attack – Islam is not really a religious tradition, but a political movement working to impose Islamic law on the rest of us. (More)


Evan McMorris-Santoro, Talking Points Memo, 7/29/10

Let's get one thing straight, Diane Serafin told me this afternoon -- the people (and their dogs) protesting a planned mosque in Temecula, California tomorrow are not bigots. It's not Muslims per se that they have a problem with -- it's the fact that Imams are slowly infiltrating American society, hoping to force Sharia law on us all.

Muslim construction projects have been the subject of public protests nationwide these days (as we've reported), but Serafin's demonstration is different from all the rest. She's calling on people to bring their dogs and join in song tomorrow afternoon because, she told me, Muslims just hate dogs and songs. Of course, Muslim antipathy toward canines isn't their worst offense, she told me.

"They hate Jews, they hate Chrisitans, they hate women, they hate dogs," Serain said. "[The idea of the new mosque] scares the daylights out of me."

Still, Serafin insisted she's no bigot. (More)


Russian TV, 07/28/10

Watch the video.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): "We're seeing opposition to mosques nationwide. You're seeing oppositions not only to the Manhattan mosque, there's opposition to a Staten Island, New York mosque, a Brooklyn mosque. We're seeing opposition to mosques in Tennessee, Illinois and California."

Hooper contends it is much bigger than the "ground zero mosque" and that the fear of Islam is much greater, especially since the recent failed December bombing in Detroit.

Gordon argued that there are already "a hundred mosques in New York City" and that the ground zero mosque is a tower being built by foreign money. He likened it to Muslims building a mosque in Jerusalem and further argued that Muslims build mosques in cities they have conquered, using the historical examples of Constantinople and Jerusalem. Gordon also contended that the mosque will create an unsafe environment for New Yorkers. (More)


Rasha al-Khayat and Amira Fouda, Al Arabiya, 07/29/10

. . . The church called for repeating its "Everybody Burn Quran Day" it celebrates "in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam."

The church, which also launched several campaigns against homosexuality and abortion, stirred much controversy last year after distributing T-shirts that read, "Islam is of the Devil."

Church leader Dr. Terry Jones published a book under the same title and posted outside the church a poster conveying the same message.

Several Facebook groups were formed to counter the campaign like "In Protest of International Burn a Koran Day" and "Against Everybody Burn Quran Day."

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a statement asking Muslims to invite friends and distribute copies of the Quran. (More)


The War Room with Quinn and Rose, 07/28/10

Quinn: "NASA's new job is not to fly to the moon, NASA's new job is to make Muslims feel good about science."

Tennent: "You know what? Why don't we fly some Muslims to the moon? To the moon, baby, to the moon."

Quinn: "Well, it would be a start" (More)


Tim Alberta, Politico, 07/28/10

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, one of three Republican candidates running for governor, has drawn rebukes after suggesting that Islam may be a "cult" instead of a religion. . .

The remarks brought a swift rebuke from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the country's most prominent Islamic civil liberties group. CAIR's spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that Ramsey's remark "seems to be part of a trend nationwide in which there are those who are seeking to delegitimize the faith of Islam so that Muslim civil and religious rights can somehow be restricted."

Hooper later told the Tennessean: "Islam is the faith of one-fifth of the world's population. [It's] not a cult; it's a real religion. And American Muslims have the same religious and constitutional rights as other citizens." (More)


By Robert Wilonsky, Dallas Observer, 07/28/10

The Council on American-Islamic Relations just sent word of that a handful of incidents at the Dar El-Eman Islamic Center in on Mansfield Road in Arlington in recent days have sparked an investigation involving the Arlington Police Department and the FBI. Says the release, on Sunday someone set its playground on fire -- just two days after "obscene anti-Muslim graffiti was discovered in the mosque's parking lot." According to the release, on Sunday racial slurs were also "shouted at worshippers" entering the mosque.

Tiara Ellis Richard, APD's media relations coordinator, was unavailable for comment. But the FBI's Dallas spokesman, Mark White, says the bureau is "aware of the incidents, and we, along with the Arlington PD, are looking into it." White hadn't seen the release when he spoke with Unfair Park; I read it to him, and while he said he was unaware of slurs being shouted at worshipers, "how they characterize the first two incidents is accurate." Attempts to reach someone at the Dar El-Eman Islamic Center were unsuccessful; all I got was a recording listing upcoming events. (More)


By Mitch Mitchell, 07/28/10

On Friday, members of a south Arlington mosque found graffiti depicting Uncle Sam and Allah in a sexual position spray-painted in the parking lot . . .

"I don't want them to feel that they are threatened or that they are in danger. It is hard for them to understand because this is a house of prayer," she said.

Last summer, an open gas canister was left inside a mosque under construction in south Arlington, Qaddura said. Also, a recent attack was reported in Rockwall, he said.

"People going to mosques have been fearful since 9/11," said Mustaffa Carroll, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Texas. "It will kind of die down and then something will happen and it will ramp up again.

"We'd like to live in peace here. But if people don't trust you, I don't care what you say, you will always be suspect." (More)


New 8, 07/28/10

Arlington police have stepped up patrols around city mosques after vandalism and anti-Islam graffiti appeared on the South Arlington Mosque. Mosque president thinks it's sparked by the controversial plan to build a mosque near Ground Zero.

Watch the video.



(ANAHEIM, CA, 7/28/10) -- Today in Phoenix, a federal district court blocked from implementation several key provisions of the problematic racial profiling law, SB 1070, that is scheduled to go into effect on Thursday, July 29th.

Judge Susan Bolton granted a preliminary injunction that prevents police from questioning people about their immigration status. The preliminary injunction will remain in place pending a final court ruling on SB 1070's constitutionality.

The ruling came in response to a motion filed by the U.S. Department of Justice to challenge the constitutionality of SB 1070.In addition to preventing police officers from questioning individuals based on a "reasonable suspicion" of undocumented status, Judge Bolton's preliminary injunction will also block provisions of the law which:

1. Make it a crime to fail to apply for or to carry alien registration papers
2. Make it a crime for alleged undocumented immigrants to seek work
3. Authorize the warrantless arrest of individuals believed to be subject to deportation
4. Authorize the mandatory detention of individuals, even for minor traffic offenses that would normally result in a ticket, if they cannot verify authorization to be in the U.S.

CAIR-CA welcomes Judge Bolton's ruling as a highly significant and critical first step in the fight against racial profiling and anti-immigrant hysteria. This decision sends a message to other states that reactionary and unconstitutional laws which target communities of color will not go unchallenged.

Despite this temporary victory, the struggle for a more permanent and widespread solution continues.

Tomorrow, CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area Executive Director Hussam Ayloush will join interfaith and civil rights leaders in Phoenix to continue the call for reform. Activists will gather in Phoenix tomorrow morning to call for a complete end to SB 1070 and similar legislation in other states and urge immediate action from Congress to pass critically needed comprehensive immigration reform.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR-LA Government Relations Coordinator Ilham Elkoustaf, 714-776-1847, E-mail:


By Joe Tyrrell, New Jersey Room, 07/28/10

On the eve of scheduled Congressional testimony by FBI Director Robert Mueller, a Muslim legal group said the agency appears to be using anti-terrorism laws to "pry into the private lives" of ordinary citizens.

Muslim Advocates, a San Francisco based group of lawyers, law professors and students, contends the agency is using "discriminatory techniques" to collect broad ranges of information on Muslims and others not accused of crimes.

"Law-abiding American Muslims have experienced increasing levels of discriminatory, invasive and abusive conduct by federal agents," the group's director, Farhana Khera, said in a statement. (More)


Unsa Suhail, Illume Magazine, 07/28/10

Hani Khan woke up on February 15 and got ready for her day. She laid out her clothes, put on some lip-gloss, and wrapped the hijab around her head, the religious head covering she has been wearing since kindergarten. She walked into her job at Hollister at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo, California and punched her employee ID into the system as usual but that day, something seemed off.

"When the district manager came in for a special visit, I felt him staring at me," Khan said, but she went about her work as normal. When Khan came back from her lunch break, she found the district manager waiting for her. . .

"He told me he wanted me to speak to a person at Abercrombie & Fitch human resources," Khan said, "And he handed me the phone."

The civil rights manager of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Khadija Athman explained, "Most people understand the need for safety, including Muslim women, who want to make sure they are safe, too. But at the same time, Muslims women would appreciate it if their religious beliefs would be accommodated."

Khan's case against the company remains stagnant and the effects are lasting. "The EEOC is still in the midst of investigating and asking both parties. [Abercrombie] is such a big corporation making it very difficult to get a hold of people," she said. Abercrombie representatives refuse to comment on the situation. (More)



(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 7/29/10) -- This weekend, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will hold its second annual Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium (MYLS) at Oklahoma City University. The symposium seeks to inspire young Oklahomans to pursue public service and become involved to make a difference in their communities.

WHEN: Friday July 30 – Sunday August 1, 2010

WHERE: Gardner Conference Room, Meinders School of Business, Oklahoma City University, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave., Oklahoma City, OK

CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi, 405-248-5853, E-mail:

Friday's MYLS networking dinner will feature Oklahoma City University President and former Chief Justice Robert Henry of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid as keynote speakers. The MYLS Leadership & Empowerment conference on Saturday and Sunday will be filled with engaging workshops, activities and games. The theme for the program is "Activism through Expression."

CAIR-Oklahoma's annual youth leadership and empowerment conference will provide 40 college students and young professionals from across Oklahoma an opportunity to build and develop leadership skills. Over three days, the students are educated on civic engagement, civil rights, public speaking and communications, trained on leadership and community advocacy skills, and have the opportunity to rub elbows with elected officials, media professionals, community activists, and other leaders.

"Our leadership and empowerment conference is all about the youth and preparing them to be the next generation of leaders," said CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi.

CAIR-Oklahoma's MYLS program was founded in 2009 to build new foundations for Muslim youth to become involved in community and public service in Oklahoma. The strength of MYLS comes from volunteers who give selflessly of their time and energy, and serve as role models for the leadership conference. CAIR chapters in California, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, and Washington have also held similar programs.

One of last year's participants, Bilal Ittiq, a junior psychology major at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, ,said of last year's symposium:

"MYLS provides beneficial stepping stones for younger generations to become leaders in their respective communities. Especially preceding the great month of Ramadan, it has motivated me to strengthen my Iman [faith]. Seeing the passion of these community leaders is very influential."

The core mission of the Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium (MYLS) is to provide American Muslim youth with a proactive agenda for positive activism; empower them to guide their communities from the margin to the mainstream; and foster a healthy American Muslim identity that fits comfortably within pluralistic American society while true to its faith values.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi, 405-248-5853, E-mail: ; CAIR-OK Chair Amir Khaliq; E-mail:


By Madeleine Dubus, Campus Progress, 07/29/10

Aspiring rapper Cyrus McGoldrick is working to change the dialog around anti-Muslim sentiment in America.

When Cyrus McGoldrick takes the stage, he's not himself. McGoldrick raps as The Raskol Khan, often with the Freddy Fuego Sextet, an evolving group of musicians based in Harlem. The name Raskol is based on the main character in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov. McGoldrick describes the first part of his pseudonym as "a rebellious force in society who's trying to do the right thing but struggles with his environment and self." Khan, Arabic for King or Chief, "channels a vestige of an imperial mindset, a long history of conquest," he says. It is a history McGoldrick hopes to cleanse himself of.

McGoldrick is not famous. He's not revolutionary. He is a college student, a musician, and a writer. He is also Muslim in America. McGoldrick is part of the first generation of young Muslim Americans to go through their adolescence and early adulthood post-9/11.

"9/11 was the first day of high school," McGoldrick recalls. McGoldrick says as he sits in his rent-stabilized one bedroom apartment in Morningside Heights, the far upper west reaches of Manhattan. [Full-disclosure: McGoldrick and I first met when we attended high school together.] In the years since Sept. 11, he feels there has been a weakening of the Muslim identity. . .

McGoldrick also frequently helps CAIR-NY (Council on American-Islamic Relations) organize events in the city. (More)